May 22, 2014

31 Killed, 90+ Wounded as Lutherans Massacre Civilians in China

Did I say Lutherans? I think I meant to say Presbyterians. Actually, the article doesn't describe the Uyghurs as Muslim until the 17th paragraph:

A series of explosions tore through an open-air market in the capital of the volatile western Chinese region of Xinjiang on Thursday, killing dozens of people and wounding many more, state media reported...

Two SUVs slammed into shoppers gathered at the market in Urumqi at 7:50 a.m. Thursday, and explosives were flung out of the vehicles, China's official news agency Xinhua said.

The vehicles then exploded, according to Xinhua, which said at least 31 people were killed and more than 90 wounded.

Here's where CNN finally informs the reader that the suspected assailants were of the ROP persuasion, but only does so in the context of describing the conflict in ethnic, and not religious, terms:
The knife-wielding assailants in the Kunming attack and the people in the car that hit Tiananmen were identified as Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim ethnic group from Xinjiang.
Ethnic tensions between Uyghurs and Han Chinese people, millions of whom have migrated to resource-rich Xinjiang in recent decades, have repeatedly boiled over into deadly riots and clashes with authorities in recent years.
I'm guessing these people have legitimate grievances against the Chinese government. This is China, where the polite word for non-Han people translates roughly as "foreign devils" (or so I'm told by sources I consider credible). So, maybe the primary motivator in this and other attacks are ethnic and not politico-religious. But I never hear about the other dozen or so ethnic minorities in China blowing a bunch of civilians up as a form of 'protest'.

Sometimes we see patterns in things where there are none because we are looking so hard for them. But the opposite is also true: sometimes we fail to see the pattern because we are looking for something -- anything -- to explain the thing in a way that won't shatter our own naive assumptions.

Here's a pic someone tweeted from China. Most of the victims are described as being elderly shoppers in the market to buy vegetables for the day's meals. Warning: it's fairly graphic.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:35 AM | Comments |